My blog is weird

You guys see a very different side to me in comparison to what many people in my life see. My closest friends know that I am pretty…erm…odd, but my work colleagues and casual acquaintances see “professional Jane.”

Professional Jane likes pencil skirts and blazers. She eats rye crackers and discusses politics with men in suits. She analyses exam results and collates them in the form of pie charts. She attends meetings with colleagues and has an actual clipboard. Sometimes, she ties her hair up with a pencil. Yes, professional Jane is a straight-laced, no-nonsense nine to fiver.

Then there’s “crazy Jane”. Crazy Jane tries to teach her cat how to curtsy (she *almost* has it). She has an inexplicable fear of foam and waltzes with herself. She likes to not stalk her neighbours with binoculars and pretend she’s a French mime artist. She also loves wrestling and tequila (in that order). Sometimes, she likes to drive slowly beside random joggers she’s never met while playing Eye of the Tiger. She also likes to frequent karaoke bars where she can rap California Love in its entirety.

So yes, I’m weird. But I’m not always weird. I could come on here and be normal but then you guys wouldn’t be (hopefully) laughing at with me.

Design

In case you guys are wondering, crazy Jane mostly lives in a cage while professional Jane is at work. I let her out in the evening, where she likes to dance to Abba and blog. Crazy Jane sure loves to blog. She also loves talking to all her fellow weirdos and sending them virtual cake. She is uncomfortable with referring to herself in the third person so she’s going to stop now and knit some tea cosies even though she doesn’t have a tea pot. Sinister.

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Living

How the hell are we??

My life has been a bit currrrazaaay lately (two syllables just didn’t seem like enough, ya know?)

I mean, I don’t even know where to start. I’m still teaching (I like to imagine myself as a non-magical Dumbledore). I am LOVING living alone because, well, naked cleaning. I am probably partying too much, but hey, it never killed anyone, right? (Okay, it’s killed a lot of people, but I’ve made it to 31 and I once attacked a toaster with a knife so I figure I’m lucky to have gotten this far). I’ve gone even blonder. I got my best friend a cat because I’m sound as hell. I’m getting a new tattoo. My friend had a baby. I’m getting another piercing. My cats have mastered teleportation (probably). I got a financial windfall and I’m planning to travel, maybe. Someone sent me flowers and I have no fucking idea who but my cat ate them. I FINALLY finished Ulysses. I started properly writing again and I love it. My friends are all amazing and I never need anything else as long as I have them, except maybe wine, chocolate and cats. And gifs of people falling over. I’ve been doing things I never would have done a year ago. I’ve opened myself up to new experiences, new people, new places. And it’s pretty great.

So that’s been my life. I’ve never felt happier. Sure, the anxiety kicks in every so often. I doubt myself. I doubt my decisions. But most of the time, I’m smiling. I’m laughing. I’m dancing to Carly Rae Jepsen.

That’s the thing about challenges; how you react to them is what defines you. Shit will happen. You can’t always prevent it from happening. But you can choose how you react to it. I’ve chosen to live. To really live. I analyse less and do more. It’s not always smart but it feels good. It feels right, right now at least.

Anyway, I just wanted to check in and say hello. I hope that you are having a peaceful day, whoever you may be and wherever you may be reading this from. Join me in some fancy internet tea and I’ll let you pet my cat which is not a euphemism, you deviant.

Some Short Stories

Hey loves,

I realised I have quite the collection of amazing short stories amassed from my years of moulding young minds (and definitely not playing them early ’90’s hip-hop).

So I thought ‘hey, why not share some of my favourites with you all completely unsolicited because I’m annoying like that’ and ‘I think my cat has telepathic powers’ but mostly the first thing.

A Perfect Day for Bananafish- J.D. Salinger

This is just perfection. It’s dark, it’s bizarre, it’s vintage Salinger and I love it.

Guests of the Nation- Frank O’ Connor

Frank O’ Connor is truly one of the best writers of short fiction. This story may require a little background knowledge on the Irish War of Independence but anyone would enjoy it. If you’re not completely moved by the ending, then you may be a psychopath. Special mention to First Confession also; it’s hilarious.

To Build a Fire- Jack London

Man vs Nature…who will win?

Spoiler: Nature, obvs

The Cask of Amontillado- Edgar Allan Poe

This story is all kinds of f**ked up and I f**king love it. A story so nice, I swore twice. Special mention to The Tell-Tale Heart also.

Genesis and Catastrophe- Roald Dahl

The twist in this is great and really makes you think. Also, Dahl rules.

You guys enjoy reading and I’m going to continue brunching while I still can:

๐ŸคŸ๐Ÿป๐ŸคŸ๐Ÿป๐ŸคŸ๐Ÿป๐ŸคŸ๐Ÿป

And Iโ€™m Okay

Hi there!

I just wanted to update you all because I’ve gotten a few sweet sympathy emails and I wanted to say a) thank you, you beautiful people and b) I’m not drowning in a sea of merlot and cookie dough ice cream (but what a sea that would be…) But yeah, I’m good.

I’m currently on holidays from work for two, count ’em, TWO weeks…which means that I’m planning to do lots of fun things, like travel around the country in my crap car, while listening to podcasts and taking pictures on my Polaroid. Or visit a dark sky reserve with my darling little telescope. Or I’ll just lie on my sofa staring at my feet and listening to death metal.

Whatever I do, it’ll be fun. And that’s what I need. I could also do with a travel companion who will stop me from accidentally driving off a cliff (again…dammit) so if you know anyone (preferably Tom Hardy but I’m willing to settle) then hit me up.

In other news, I’m looking at traveling for the summer. I have no idea where, but sure isn’t that half the fun? My job means that I have the freedom to do it so why not? My job also means that I have perfected a passive-aggressive look of disdain, but mostly the freedom thing.

If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them! Let me dream for a little while…

There’s so much more that’s been going on in my life. But that’s for another day. Right now, I’m reading the poetry of Byron from a 105 year old book while simultaneously watching Jeremy Kyle. Because classy. Seriously though, the combination is amazing.

Enough about me. How is all with you? What have you been up to? Did you know that goats are actually just male sheep? Probably?

Kisses and hugs that linger for too long xxx

P.S. I was reminded of this scene from The Simpsons on FB today…how amazing/emotionally traumatising is it?!

Homer’s Mother Leaves

Well, bye.

So Iโ€™m Not a Mom

Being a childless woman in your thirties isn’t always easy. I mean sure, I can sleep through the night, drink tequila on a Thursday and decide without any planning to go line dancing or ice-skating, if those were things I wanted to do. But there are downsides to my childlessness: namely, the presumptuous comments of some (of course, not all) mothers I speak to. Because I’m not one of them, I must have a wonderful life. I have such freedom, after all. I must have boundless energy. If I say I went out to the pub for a drink with friends, I’m met with ‘imagine being able to do that’. If I say that I feel a little tired because I’ve had so much overtime, I get ‘just wait till you have kids.’

Shockingly, there are women who are my age who simply don’t want to have children. Thatโ€™s totally fucking fine. Not every woman has to be a mother. Not ever woman wants to be a mother. That doesn’t make her selfish or vain or proud. And what about the women who can’t have children? I can’t imagine how much senseless comments like the ones I hear on at least a weekly basis must hurt them.

Women who don’t have children are still loving, caring and compassionate. We’re not any more or any less selfish than anyone else. We have as much empathy as the next person. I remember telling someone once that I was anti-capital punishment and their response was ‘you’d think differently if you had kids’ as if I’m somehow incapable at arriving at a reasonable conclusion on the matter because I’m lacking some kind of empathy or sense of outrage that is unique to parents. Lately, I told some colleagues that I was re-reading the novel Room by Emma Donoghue. The plot is admittedly disturbing and the subject matter is dark and distressing. But it is also a well-written novel, about issues (kidnapping, rape) that occur whether we want to think about them or not. My colleagues (whom I really like, respect and get along well with) told me that they couldn’t even bring themselves to read the book. Fair enough, I thought. It is a tough read and not for everyone. But then the conversation turned into six mothers versus me. They told me that because they’re mothers, the thought of reading such a novel is particularly disturbing. I agree; it would be very difficult and you would naturally think of your own children in such a situation and that would be enough to cause you to avoid such narratives. But they didn’t stop there. I was met with comments like ‘you’ll understand when you have kids’ (which I probably just should get tattooed on my forehead) and ‘ god imagine being able to read books like that!’ I was made to feel as if I was some sadistic, voyeuristic sociopath who thrives on the suffering of fictional children. I just choose not to shield myself from difficult realities in life. Paintings by renaissance or impressionist artists can be disturbing and convey great suffering but they can still be beautiful. The same goes for literature and for movies. Appreciating them doesn’t make me some kind of psychopath.

And just because I don’t have children does not make me immune to outrage, shock, pain, compassion or disgust.

I don’t want anyone to think that I’m having a go at mothers or motherhood. Most mothers I know (my friends and my sister and sister-in-law, for example) serve as great inspirations to me. They’re exactly what I aspire to be if and when I decide to have kids. Even the mothers that do pass thoughtless comments don’t do it out of malice or spite, I know that. Mothers can be wonderful, resilient, kind, beautiful, brave people. Non-mothers can be just as wonderful, just as resilient, just as kind, beautiful and brave.

We are all women, different and the same, and we need to support each other and each other’s choices.

Iโ€™m the Worst Sick Person

I currently have some kind of head cold/chest infection thing that is making me feel like my head is stuffed with nails and or golf balls. It sucks. But I’m also just a terrible, terrible patient. I get the sniffles? Well, it must be Ebola. I get a muscle pain? Well, it must be some degenerative condition that will render me limbless in six months. Right now, I’m lying on my sofa wailing intermittently while surrounded by tissues and cats.*

I have always been a bad sick person. I mean, you’re not really sick unless you mention it at least thirty times a day, amirite? And you can hardly be expected to help yourself, so it’s essential that someone waits on you hand and foot, serving you hot whiskey and toast while you watch re-runs of Project Runway. Fluid intake is key to a swift recovery. And I’m sure my loved ones wouldn’t want me to die right? RIGHT?

So, tell me about your weekend? *twirls hair* What ya up to? I’ll listen while crying into my whiskey.

*Well, two cats. But they’re on either side of me, so….

How to Beat the Christmas Blues

Merry Christmas my deers (heh heh). Although it seems that everyone is just a little bit merrier at this time of year, some people struggle more than normal during the festive season. If you are prone to depression or anxiety, Christmas can be a really challenging and difficult time. Here are some tips to help you beat those festive blues:

1. Be sociable

It’s so easy to hide away in this cold and dark weather. Staying inside and shutting yourself off from the world, however, can be damaging in the long term. Meeting friends and family for a meal or even a coffee will automatically make you feel better and you’ll feel good for leaving your house, if even for an hour. Aim to stick to coffee or tea instead of alcohol, which is a depressant and will ultimately make you feel quite down. Hot chocolate is always delicious ๐Ÿ˜‹

2. Make your ‘alone time’ productive

It’s important to strike a balance between socializing and relaxing alone. Time by yourself is necessary and healthy. For some people, however, it can be destructive and lonely. To combat negative feelings, go for a walk somewhere quiet and pretty (this time of year is so beautiful!). Alternatively, you could colour, draw, listen to music, meditate…whatever brings you peace. Don’t let those negative thoughts overwhelm you. If you’re busy, they can’t!

3. Don’t over-indulge

I know. I know. Christmas is all about going BIG. The problem is, however, for people with anxiety, over-indulging in food and alcohol and spending too money is a huge cause of stress. You should absolutely enjoy yourself but remember: moderation is key. Your belly and your bank balance will thank you for it in January!

4. Open up

Some people feel that they can’t express their negative or depressive feelings during the festive period because they’ll be a perceived as a burden or a ‘buzz-kill.’ The truth is, your mental health is important to those that love you and opening up to them shows them that you love and trust them. Bottling up negative thoughts is not helpful to anyone. Sharing your feelings is unbelievably helpful and therapeutic.

5. Find peace in the chaos

Christmas is an insanely busy and manic time. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and over-stimulated by this. Remember to take the time to unwind and switch off. Sitting in a quiet room alone for ten minutes in total silence is a wonderful way of relaxing and de-stressing. Listening to Christmas carols is one of my favourite ways to unwind. Just listen to how peaceful this is:

Carols from Kings

6. Be kind and spread the love

This time of year can become ridiculously consumerist and materialistic. It’s a lovely feeling to just be kind and thoughtful and it costs nothing! When you are kind to others, it is a wonderful and rewarding feeling that just can’t be bought. Helping out a family member, volunteering for a charity or cooking someone dinner are just some of the kind deeds you can do. The feeling of being the cause of someone’s happiness is really uplifting. You will find when you are kind, you will receive kindness in return.

There you have it guys! I hope this was helpful to some of you and I hope everybody has a peaceful Christmas ๐ŸŽ„

This is the worst post Iโ€™ve ever โ€˜writtenโ€™

So hello there friends! How have you all been? I’m good! I’m getting super excited for Christmas and also not knitting. I said *not* knitting, so nothing new there. I may have just invented a new tongue twister.

Aaaanyway, I just wanted to stop by to say hello and to spread some positivity and love. I feel like Julie Andrews on Prozac because I just freakin love this time of year. Everybody “it’s the most wonderful time of the yeaaarrr” and I’m gonna stop now because I don’t quite know the lyrics so I’ll just hum instead…

So what’s new with me?

Well, I’m still working. I just got drunk at my staff party but that’s okay because it’s basically expected of me at this stage. I am busy trying to plan my wedding (I say my, because I may as well be marrying myself), I’m buying things I can’t afford, I’m learning French and I just ate two packets of crisps and I hate myself. Standard really.

What about you?? How you doin’? Wait, that sounded a little pervy. How are you? *tilts head to the side* did that sound more sincere?

Remember, you’re only as old as your bra size… and hey, if that’s like 40 FF, at least you have big boobs, right? RIGHT?

My Fab Fourย 

Well hello there friends! I am just back from a fabulous break with my best friend and I feel equal parts exhausted and exhilarated. We ate, we laughed and of course, we drank. A little. Ahem. 

My eyes say ‘hello there sailor’ but my lips say ‘I was a little drunk when I did my makeup’

Anyway, as I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been practicing acknowledging all the things I’m grateful for each evening and it really helps to remind me that I am lucky for a number of reasons. Today, I’m going to acknowledge four people who I feel very lucky to know. These gals bring me happiness and I am so grateful to have them in my life. So without further ado, here are four of my most lovely friends:

*I’m going to refer to them by their initials 

FB 

I have known F since we were both little girls knocking the shite out of each other. I don’t even know to put into words how much this girl means to me. We are both unashamedly weird, hyper and Simpsons-obsessed. We can make each other laugh by just looking at each other. She didn’t have the easiest of childhoods but she has never let this define her or obstruct her in any way. She approaches everything with positivity and enthusiasm. Her company makes me a better person and my life is made easier by having her along this journey with me. 

ROS 

I’ve also known R since I was a little girl. I have always looked at her like another sister. When I was a timid, shy child, she brought out the best in me. She was always there, championing me to be a stronger, confident person. She is wonderfully mischievous and even to this day, she brings out my inner messer. We have always been so bold in each other’s company. We couldn’t sit next to each other in primary school because we were just too naughty and we probably only graduated secondary school because we went to different ones. R is one of the best friends a girl could have in her life. She is always there for me. She doesn’t know how much her dedication to our friendship means to me. She helps me and guides me in so many ways. She is inspiring and wonderful and I adore her more than I can ever express. 

CQC 

C is a friend of F’s (try and keep up haha) that I met about eight (?) years ago. We are similar in many ways and I bonded with her instantly. She is intelligent, funny and kind. I really enjoy her company and we have the most interesting and random chats. She is the kind of person everyone needs in their life! I feel really lucky to have met her and I always look forward to seeing her. She is currently expecting a child and I couldn’t be more excited for her. She’s going to be an amazing mother. I haven’t seen her in a while and really miss her. Note to self: Next time you see her, smell her hair. 

KL 

I met K in primary school. Since then, we have been a big part of each other’s lives. She is such a strong, wonderful person and I admire so many things about her. Whenever we meet up, we’re like two kids again,  giggling and gossiping. She is just the best company. I love going out on night’s with her; she is the best fun. 

She became a mother this year and I swear her son is the most adorable baby everrrr. I am in awe of her strength and her resilience through difficult situations. I feel so lucky to know her and still be her friends after all these years and I know we have many wonderful years of friendship ahead of us. 

So there you have it, four women who inspire me and bless me with their friendship. Who do you feel grateful to know? 

So what’s new with you?ย 

Happy Hallowe’en my dears ๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿ‘ป I am finding it insanely difficult to type because of these… 

so if I make some typos you guys will know why…. worth it though.

I’m officially on midterm break, woo! I have Gatsby lying next to me..


and I have the worst head cold ever. Typical, isn’t it? I get a few days off work and I’m sick. Ugh. 

But it’s fine. I mean it could be worse… probably. I’ll be heading to a super fancy hotel at the weekend and drinking my weight in prosecco so keep an eye on my twitter and instagram if cyber-stalking me feels like a thing you’d like to do. I mean, I do it to you. 

Okay guys, it’s legitimately taken 45 minutes for me to write this much so I’m going to stop now and cry for a while. Tell me about your life, your day, your lunch, whatevs.